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Duende Set to Pop Tomorrow, Preview the Bodega Now

 Duende's bodega.
Duende's bodega.
Photo: Wendy Hector

Eater has confirmed that Duende, Oakland's highly anticipated Spanish restaurant, wine bodega, live music venue, coffee shop, and olive oil vendor will be open tomorrow for all of your food, wine, music, coffee, and olive oil-related needs. The bodega will be open at 7 a.m. and the restaurant will open its doors for dinner service at 5:30 p.m..

Earlier this month we showed you the interior and a sneak peek at the menu, and today we got to take a look at the bodega and chat with Duende's Spanish wine and sherry guru, Gerard Maristany.

The bodega, which is attached and open to the restaurant, will offer coffee in the morning and also serve as a retail shop. Duende is working with Berkeley company Amphora Nueva, which sources and imports olive oil from around the world, and will provide three different varieties of oil for purchase in special Duende-emblazoned glass bottles, or you can bring your own bottle from home.

The wines for sale in the bodega are organized ingeniously, not by price point or style, but by geography. The wooden boxes spanning the wall represent a map of Spain, and the wines are grouped according to region. Look to the bottom-left corner to find sherry (the southwestern region of Jerez), the upper-right area to find cava (the northeastern region of Penedes), and so on. While this might lead to a fun game for wine geeks ("quick, find the Galician godello!"), it's also a great way to help people explore the widely differing regional styles of Spain.

"In Spain, everybody drinks locally," says Gerard Maristany, the man behind the wine program, who originally hails from Barcelona. "There is more variety of Spanish wines in the US than there is in Spain. I saw a bottle here from the Canary Islands, and I said, do they make wine there?"

While the wine list has "a little bit of everything," according to Maristany, it's also "very committed to sherry" and includes all styles, even sherry-like wines from other Spanish regions, like dorado from Rueda and vi ranci from Catalonia. Maristany is excited to introduce people to the world of sherry, especially as a pairing with food. "We think of sherry as a type of wine. With food, it's wonderful. Is there anything better than an amontillado, served cold, with shrimp? And Palo Cortado goes great with paella."

Maristany will be in the bodega most nights pouring tastes and answering wine questions. He hopes to have as many sherries as possible open to entice people to try something new. He also has some future events in the works with visiting Spanish winemakers. "We want this to be a very alive place in terms of wines and sherries," Maristany says.

Bottles purchased at the bodega can be opened in the restaurant for a $12 corkage fee. In addition, the restaurant side of Duende offers a selection of domestic wines on tap as well as a selection of library wines, beers, and a full bar.

· All Duende Coverage [~ ESF ~]


468 19th Street, , CA 94612 (510) 893-0174 Visit Website

468 19th St, Oakland CA